The Diary: Andrew Motion; Quentin Crisp; Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Made in Iran; Jose-Maria Cano

Forward Motion

The newly knighted poet, Andrew Motion, has held off from commenting on the Derek Walcott/Ruth Padel/Oxford Professor of Poetry debacle, but is finally ready to express his views to "The Independent". He told me that he felt the post was "strong enough to recover" and that it could be a moment in which "[Oxford] university's voting system... might be worth looking at", adding, "perhaps... one might able to vote online rather than having to turn up in person. It would also include more people in the process, which would probably be a good thing as it might encourage a wider range of candidates". The outgoing Poet Laureate thought it prudent that the university might run the election again in a year's time so that the saga might be "got out of the system". He said that, while he was keen not to get involved at the time, he would otherwise have backed the Nobel Prize-winning poet over Padel: "To get a Nobel Prize-winning poet is not to be resisted."

Quentin who?

It would appear that Ed Vaizey, the Shadow Minister for Culture, dropped a clanger in an email that he sent out referring to the gay icon and exhibitionist, Quentin Crisp (rather than the very different Quentin Blake) as the first Children's Laureate. The message read: "Congratulations to writer and illustrator Anthony Browne who became the sixth Children's Laureate on Tuesday. Browne is the second illustrator to be appointed, Quentin Crisp was the first when the role was created a decade ago." Oops.

Body of evidence

A new play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by the award-winning playwright Anna Reynolds is to be based on the true story of people who entered the American endurance competition, Hands on a Hardbody. To win a truck, competitors had to stand, day in, day out, with five-minute breaks every hour (15 min every six hours) with their hands on a truck. The competition was discontinued in 2005 after one man killed himself after quitting the contest. The play runs from 5 until 31 August at Pleasance Grand, in Edinburgh.

A British visa is not a flexible friend

The collective of artists involved in a show called Made in Iran, which takes place at Asia House in London on 24 June, were struggling, even before current events, to get visas from the British Embassy in Iran to be here in time for the opening, and the possibility of their being able to attend already looked bleak. Our visa laws have stopped the good and the great from Asia and Africa from performing at world music festivals such as Womad. The work of these young, emerging Iranian artists (among them Shirin Aliabadi, whose "Hybrid Girl 6" is pictured left) promises to explore the emergence of subcultures.

A hundred reasons to wax lyrical

The Spanish artist Jose-Maria Cano is bringing a new series of portraits called the Wall Street 100 to Riflemaker Dairy in London from October. They are 100 large, paraffin-wax portraits that place the likes of Kate Moss and Barack Obama next to Rupert Murdoch. Each character is selected for his or her perceived level of global economic power. I wonder what Roman Abramovich, Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Bill Gates and Nicolas Sarkozy would think of being placed next in the illustrious line-up to the shamed financier Bernard Madoff (right), the latest addition to the top 100.

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year


Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living